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#LAL2019
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Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much. It took me a few chapters to understand what was happening but once I caught on, I was all in. I can see where it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly was mine. I can't wait to read the "companion novel" A God in Ruins. I'm not sure if this is an unpopular opinion, but this was a 5⭐ read for me.

#LAL2019

CarolynM I liked it a lot too and I think A God in Ruins is even better. 2mo
Ingerella @CarolynM ooh, good to know! I'm trying to decide when to start it. I have one book I have to finish then I'll decide. I kind of want to savor Life After Life for a bit. 2mo
Laura317 I really liked this too. Not sure I wanted to know what happens next until I saw @CarolynM ‘s post. 2mo
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Cortg I have both books sitting on my bookshelf patiently waiting for me to read them! 2mo
BarbaraJean I LOVED this book. I was wary because I was really unimpressed by the only other Kate Atkinson I‘d read (Case Histories), but I devoured this one and loved every minute. 2mo
CarolynM @Laura317 It's not really what happens next, it focuses on Teddy's life and the family he makes. I found it really moving. 2mo
Bklover I‘ll be interested to hear what you think of the companion book. I read Life After Life and loved it, but had no desire to read the follow up book about Teddy. If you love it, maybe I should reconsider!! 2mo
Ingerella @Cortg Give them a go! @Laura317 I am looking forward to Teddy's story. I'm also curious to know if he has the same gift. 2mo
Ingerella @BarbaraJean This was my first by Kate Atkinson. The day before I started reading it my friend, who I usually always agree with on books, told me she hated this book. I went in very apprehensive for that reason but ended up loving it! 2mo
Ingerella @Bklover I'll let you know how it goes! 2mo
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blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Here we are at the end of our Buddy Read! Thanks so much @Pruzy for co-hosting and for having such great questions, including our final discussion question this week! Make sure you swing over there!
My easy questions this week are these: What were your final thoughts on the book? Do you plan on reading the companion novel, A God in Ruins?

I loved reading this book with buddies. Thanks so much for joining in!
#LAL2019 #LifeAfterLife

readordierachel Thanks for hosting @Ingerella and @Pruzy !! I really loved the book and plan on reading the sequel very soon (and more Atksinson in general). It was such a cool twist on historical fiction. I'm anxious to see where she takes this idea in A God in Ruins! 3mo
cobwebmoth Even though there were some very heavy topics in the book I still enjoyed it. I didn't know about the companion novel, so I'll have to check that out. Thanks to you and @Pruzy for hosting the buddy read! It was nice getting to discuss the book with others. 3mo
DivineDiana I enjoyed the book,but I did find it confusing. Not really sure what was real. Probably will not read the companion book. Thank you to you and @Pruzy for organizing the buddy read! I can finally check this off my #MtTbr ! 2mo
Ingerella @cobwebmoth @readordierachel @DivineDiana Thanks so much for joining us! I really loved the book and will definitely read A God In Ruins. 2mo
58 likes5 comments
blurb
Pruzy
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Well, everyone, the last day of our Live After Life #buddyread has arrived! Thanks to all of you who participated and made it this far. Congratulations! This was a really rewarding book to read and I‘m definitely going to read more by Kate Atkinson in the future. Special shoutout to @Ingerella for keeping the buddy read going on weeks where I wasn‘t able to engage as fully as I would have liked!

My question for this week is below! #LAL2019

Pruzy Life After Life started with the assassination of Hitler, surprisingly, Atkinson chose not to end the book with the assassination, although it came close to the end. Rather, we see that Ursula eventually gives up futilely trying to kill Hitler and instead tries to find Teddy and survive the war. The last scene in the book is from the midwife‘s perspective and not Ursula‘s what did you think about this understated ending? What does it signify? 3mo
cobwebmoth It seemed to me that even though Ursula had kind of figured out how to better use her "gift" the whole cycle would just keep repeating. 3mo
Pruzy @cobwebmoth Yes! Almost as though there was nothing for her to do, but enjoy the cycle and tweak it every time in a way that kept those she loved near to her. That said, we still didn‘t get an answer about what Sylvie was doing in London that one life 🤔 3mo
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cobwebmoth @Pruzy I know! There were a couple of things that I had hoped would be clarified by the end, but we just kept getting swept along with Ursula's new timelines. 3mo
Pruzy @cobwebmoth What other things did you want clarified? What happened to Izzie‘s kid? 🤔Hmm, what else 3mo
cobwebmoth Oh yeah, I did always wonder about her baby. And while I enjoyed the book I was kind of hoping for an explanation of why Ursula? What made her so special? 3mo
Pruzy @cobwebmoth Right! What gave her the abilities she had? Interesting question! 3mo
readordierachel @cobwebmoth @pruzy As far as why Ursula, I kinda got the impression at the very end, when Sylvie had the scissors ready, that she knew what was coming, maybe because she had the "gift" too. Maybe it *is* hereditary. I'm curious about Teddy in the next book. 3mo
cobwebmoth @readordierachel Ooh, interesting! I'm definitely curious about Teddy's book. 3mo
DivineDiana @Pruzy @cobwebmoth I thought Izzie‘s baby was Roland, and we eventually find out that he was raised by Sophie and Hugh. They find out that he has a mental condition, and drowns at the beach. 2mo
DivineDiana @readordierachel Yes! When Sophie was ready with the scissors, it led me to believe that she had “the gift “! 2mo
cobwebmoth @DivineDiana Yes, that happened in one of the timelines. I guess I just wanted to know what happened to him in the timelines where he was adopted. 2mo
DivineDiana @cobwebmoth Oh, I do remember that! Forgot there was another timeline for him! I found it all a bit confusing! 2mo
cobwebmoth @DivineDiana There was a lot to take in! 2mo
Ingerella I'm a little late to the comments here, but I did love the book ending. It felt kind of like a snapshot of just some of Ursula's possibilities. I imagine they just go on and on. I loved in the last section where she was really having deja Vu moments like crazy! I didn't mind not know some of those missing details because I really got into what was in store for her in the next life. @cobwebmoth @DivineDiana @readordierachel 2mo
65 likes1 stack add15 comments
blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
This post contains spoilers
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Question 2!
What type of commentary does Atkinson make on the English
approach to war? Why do you think Atkinson portrayed one of Ursula‘s lives in Germany,
experiencing war and the bombing from the opposing side?
@Pruzy
#LAL2019 #LifeAfterLife

SoniaC Just started this one. 3mo
Ingerella @SoniaC I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I have loved this book. 3mo
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DivineDiana All caught up! Stranger and stranger!!! 3mo
Ingerella I think she's illustrating that the war was terrible on both sides. Ultimately Ursula was just as at risk. In terms of the approach, there were a few comments that indicated she felt the Nazis worked almost like a machine, and the British weren't going to the same effort to prepare for a war. It also seemed as though her family in Fox Corner were pretty removed from how terrible it was in places like London. 3mo
Laura317 That one scene with Frieda! 😭 It was interesting seeing the war from the Germany side. The big jump in time was a jolt though. 3mo
Pruzy It really was an interesting section! Probably one of the better sections of the book! Grounded the story in historical events instead of running parallel! 3mo
daena I felt the same way @Laura317 The scene with Frieda was intense. 3mo
Laura317 Can someone tell me what we read for this week? I don‘t want to read ahead of the group. 😊 3mo
15 likes9 comments
blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Dear Buddy Readers,

I'm so sorry I forgot to post this week's schedule! We are in week 5 of our 6 week buddy read, not including the week 3 redo. I hope you all are still hanging in there and will stick with us as we push through the final two weeks.
We'll have our discussion again this coming Sunday.

Happy Reading!

@Pruzy
#LAL2019 #BuddyRead #LifeAfterLife

Pruzy The book keeps getting better and better! 3mo
daena We‘ve got this! It‘s not hard considering what a great book it is. Super curious about how this whole thing is going to wrap up. I honestly have no clue! 3mo
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DivineDiana @daena Agree! 🤔 3mo
Laura317 I‘m loving it. I arrived too late for Sunday‘s discussion, but I hope to be there for this week‘s. 3mo
Ingerella @Laura317 I'm loving it too! 3mo
readordierachel Still really enjoying it! 3mo
40 likes8 comments
blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
This post contains spoilers
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Happy Sunday! Let's talk about this past week's "A Lovely Day Tomorrow" trifecta. At the very beginning of this section, there was a quote from Sylvie that got me thinking. " 'Well, we all get on,'...'one way or another. And in the end we all arrive at the same place. I hardly see that it matters how we get there.' It seemed to Ursula that how you got there was the whole point..."
Who do you agree with?
@Pruzy
#LAL2019 #LifeAfterLife

Ingerella For the record, this question came from online discussion guide. I really liked how it got my wheels turning and thinking about fate and destiny. 3mo
cobwebmoth I ultimately agree with Ursula. I feel like the journey is often more important than the destination. But in Ursula's case, with her gift/curse, there may be more to it. 3mo
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readordierachel Me too @cobwebmoth And since Ursula frequently has deja vu and borderline premonitions that are telling her to do or avoid things, *how* she gets to wherever she's going seems to have more weight. 3mo
Meaw_catlady This section I kept on asking why does she not seem to have deja vu like she used to as a kid? Like if she did she would know not to go to that apartment. Back to your question tho Clearly for Ursula her choices do make the difference for where she ends up. It changes every time . But she sure does seem to end up miserable no matter the circumstances. 3mo
daena I feel that the journey is just as important as the destination, but it seems for Ursula that journey seems to cause so much anguish and pain. I wonder if that destination ultimately is shaped by the journey. @Meaw_catlady I got that feeling as well. She does not seem to have the same premonitions as she did as a child. This seemed so much more profound. 3mo
Dogearedcopy This seems like a variation of the issue as to whether the end justifies the means and I don't think it's really answered in the reading thus far. We've seen Ursula try to change the outcome of events, by fair means and foul (the flu cycle) and yet now as an adult her choices do not seem deliberate in re the pivotal moments of her fate. But the question does ping back to the opening chapter and the discussion of Hitler.... 3mo
Dogearedcopy It will be interesting to see if/how the narrative resolves back to the moment in the beginning. 3mo
Ingerella @Dogearedcopy I think that's definitely the direction my brain was headed, and I am anxious to see if this is where we are headed. @daena You are thinking along the same lines as me. @Meaw_catlady I wondered the same thing. 3mo
Ingerella @cobwebmoth I agree with you and @readordierachel in that ultimately it's the journey. But in Ursula's case I'm not so sure. Although in 3 different scenarios, the outcome was the same but her journeys were pretty different. Maybe this is Ursula's argument 3mo
Pruzy To me it seems like an interplay between fate (lot of events she experiences can‘t be avoided, only tweaked) and how her Deja vu lets her subtly alter her narrative 3mo
Pruzy Thanks for joining us this weekend, everyone! 3mo
DivineDiana @Pruzy I agree with you. This section was painful, and I so wanted deliverance for Ursula. The journey gives purpose to life. A very interesting question. 3mo
14 likes13 comments
blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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This week's section is a bit shorter, and includes the chapter A Lovely Day Tomorrow, three times.

Have a great week! See you next Sunday for our discussion!

@Pruzy
#LAL2019 #BuddyRead #LifeAfterLife

56 likes2 comments
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Pruzy
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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@Ingerella is focusing on the purpose of this section for today‘s #LAL2019 discussion, so I‘m going to take this opportunity to ask about a more obscure event that occurred while Ursula was in London...she saw Sylvie leaving a hotel with another man! Do you think her eyes were playing tricks on her or if it actually occurred, what so you think Sylvie was doing? Was it an old fashioned affair or some sort of espionage? And what does it mean?

Meaw_catlady I was just assuming affair. But now that you mention it maybe Sylvie was living a secret life of espionage. Sounds more intriguing . 3mo
Pruzy @Meaw_catlady Yes, wouldn‘t it be a nice plot twist? 3mo
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Dogearedcopy I thought it was Sylvie having an affair, and that was the reason Izzie abruptly made the U-turn with the car: Izzie was hoping Ursula wouldn't see, but Ursula saw it anyway. 3mo
Pruzy @Dogearedcopy Oh interesting! Ursula thought Izzie was unaware, when it could be that actually she was trying to actively hide it from Sylvia! 3mo
cobwebmoth I think that Ursula definitely saw Sylvie. I am curious to find out what she was up to. An affair would be unsurprising to me because Sylvie has eyed other men before. It would be more fun if it was espionage. 3mo
Pruzy @cobwebmoth Which men has she eyed before? I can only think of George 3mo
cobwebmoth @Pruzy I was primarily thinking of George. 3mo
Laura317 I hadn‘t thought of her being a 🕵🏻‍♀️ spy! I doubt it, but that would be a fun twist. 3mo
Ingerella Interesting question! I think Sophie was having an affair. I didn't pick up on the fact that Izzie might be aware of it. Hmm. There were a few times when it seemed Sophie was really ambivalent of Hugh... maybe the affair was the reason why. 3mo
DivineDiana Agree that she did actually see her mother, and that Izzie knows what is happening. Just finished reading Warlight, and there is a glamorous mother character who unbeknownst to her children was a spy. At first, I thought affair, but who knows at this point?!? Onward in the story! 3mo
18 likes11 comments
blurb
Ingerella
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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This week's section was tough! I felt so much for Ursula and the trajectory her life had taken, but then relief in the life that followed. One question I came across on a list of questions for this book is, Do you think Ursula's ability to relive her life is a gift or a curse? My mind goes in lots of directions when I think about this question, especially after "Like A Fox in a Hole". What do you think?
#LAL2019 #LifeAfterLife
@Pruzy

Meaw_catlady The whole time I was screaming! Just end it!! You can be born again. And I was like. Hmmm but she was told by her family and her therapist that she was just imagining it all. So if she did end it she still had that fear that she wouldn‘t get another chance. Also there is the question of if you‘re born again in a different timeline is it even really you or just another version of you with some of the other memories still... okay that was a spiral. 3mo
Pruzy I think it was the difference between Ursula realizing she didn‘t just have to survive, but that she could self actualize. It took her a whole miserable life to realize that she could avoid not only mistakes that were lethal, but mistakes whose ramifications would crush her soul rather than outright kill her! 3mo
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Dogearedcopy In this section we have an instance in which Ursula wants to die but is denied, and another instance in which she wants to live but darkness descends anyway. At this point, I think the "ability" is a curse because she has no control over it; and even her actions within her life are limited by how much she trusts her intuition (which is challenged by her mother and psychiatrist.) 3mo
Pruzy @Dogearedcopy However, her intuition seems to be obtained from her previous lives, so it is not like she has absolutely no control or benefits from her ability what so ever. If it was truly a curse she would be living over the same death again and again, I think 3mo
Dogearedcopy @pruzy She can effect actions or trajectories within a segment of her life, and as a result the when and where the darkness falls to a degree, but as to whether she dies is beyond her control. "The darkness" can neither save her, nor can she escape it once the moment is at hand. What becomes less clear is the power that decides, i.e. When Ursula was near death, and she reached for it, why did it draw back? 3mo
Pruzy @Dogearedcopy Interesting! That makes it sound like the ability has some sort of will of its own where it is trying to make sure Ursula learns whatever lesson she needs to learn on this iteration of her life. 3mo
cobwebmoth Interesting thoughts. I think it can be a gift when she gets to try again, but this section made it seem more fickle, more of a curse. I have never been so eager for a character I like to die! 3mo
Pruzy @cobwebmoth Haha, good point! 3mo
Laura317 I think it‘s more of a mixed blessing. Ursula is able to “fix” some things, but she has no control over the when. My love of Doctor Who come out here in this: are the things she can fix not fixed point in time? Can she ever go too far to the point of making things worse? 3mo
Ingerella @cobwebmoth I felt the same..I wanted that life to be over for her. 3mo
Ingerella @Dogearedcopy @Pruzy I'm on the fence as to whether it's a curse. It's a curse in one life and a blessing in the next. Ultimately will it turn out to be a blessing the more lives she lives? It seems to me that in order to live as long as she is now, she's stacking up the moments of "intuition" to get there. It's unfortunate that she has to suffer first in order to benefit from the suffering. Not sure if benefit is the right word to use though. 3mo
Ingerella @Laura317 I definitely don't think everytime she follows her "intuition" the outcome is always better. In one of the instances where she tried to stop Bridget from spreading the flu, more people died than in previous lives. I am with you..it's a mixed blessing. 3mo
DivineDiana My heart broke for Ursula in this chapter. Although she had been reborn previously, and had been able to alter her previous life, I did not know for certain that she would still have that ability. It was a very tense section for me! I‘m voting for gift. Don‘t we all yearn at times for a do-over? (edited) 3mo
Ingerella @DivineDiana True! But it's terrible what she has to keep going through in order to get to move on. I also keep thinking about all the people around her in each life who keep going on. I think of them all as parallel universes because what happens in each life to the people who aren't Ursula? 3mo
18 likes15 comments
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Pruzy
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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To everyone participating in the Life After Life buddy read, it‘s been a crazy two weeks, but I‘ve finally caught up. Sorry about the delay in facilitating our discussion! Hopefully all of you are still interested in carrying on because the last section was extremely intense and I‘m sure will harbour much discussion.

Looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow and keep those reading pics coming! #LAL2019 #BuddyRead

Dogearedcopy I'm still around, though admittedly, I read ahead to the originally scheduled section. I'm one of those people who, if I let too much time lapse between reading chapters in a book, tends to become indifferent, and then I end up DNF-ing the book! I'll just have to be careful about spoilers tomorrow! (edited) 3mo
Ingerella The last section was definitely intense! @Dogearedcopy I'm the same way. It doesn't take much for me to lose interest these days. But, I am really enjoying this book so it's been no problem to stick with it. 3mo
MellieAntoinette This whole book is intense. Where‘s the happy place?! 3mo
67 likes3 comments